Five Stories by Eric Sheridan Wyatt

Five Stories by Eric Sheridan Wyatt is a book featuring the first five stories I had accepted for publication.

Five Stories by Eric Sheridan Wyatt is a book featuring the first five stories I had accepted for publication.

From time-to-time, students in my fiction and legacy writing classes ask to read some of my published stories. Often times I would make digital or copy-printed versions of the stories available. But, recently, I decided to print a small book with the first five stories that earned me the coveted words from an editor: “We would like to print your story.”

Simply titled, Five Stories, this thin volume includes the following: Things He Wasn’t Supposed to Do, Cop-Cop Cop, Dudley’s Sacrifice, Solomon’s Ditch, and Most Dead Birds are Never Found.

The book is available for purchase through my printing partner, Lulu, and if you click on this link, you will be taken to the product page.

Some of you, dear readers, have already read all or some of these stories. If you would like, I would be very happy if you would follow that link and leave a review of the stories and rate the book so that it might attract attention of other readers.

As always, thank you all for your support.

Happy Writing!

P.S. Stay tuned for a big announcement next week. I have a new opportunity I am very excited to share with you.


Happy 2014 – And More…

According to WordPress, it’s been 182 days since I last paid attention to this blog. (If you are an agent looking to represent me, and doing your research on my social media skills, please ignore that sentence…)

And, it had been a few more months, before that, when I was last truly active as a regular blogger.

It would be easy to make a new year’s resolution, here, and promise to return to these pages and continue to provide content to this blog which has been in existence since January of 2010. I should feel compelled to keep it up… Over 300 posts and 60,000 views and comments and emails and, and, and…

And, a lot has happened in the four years since I began writing here. And, a lot has happened in the last four months.

I don’t know what 2014 will bring, and the many options are such that I won’t even pretend to promise regular blog posts or anything else. There are enough missed opportunities and broken promises in life, without adding to that with a statement I know will not bear fruit.

I do want to say, though, if you are a subscribed (or otherwise regular) reader of this blog, I have certainly appreciated your comments, input, emails, and contact through other social media. Thanks for sticking around. And please, know you are always welcome to drop me a line, no matter if this blog is active or not.

Issue 30 of Ruminate Magazine is centered around the theme of "The Body" and it features my short story, Dog Years

Issue 30 of Ruminate Magazine is centered around the theme of “The Body” and it features my short story, Dog Years

Also, if you are interested, I have two new fiction pieces out and about in the world.

Dog Years, the short story of Keith Hutcheson, a vet who is compelled to go off into the woods to weep after every pet euthanasia, is featured in the current issue of Ruminate Magazine. I’d be happy if you were able to let the kind folks at Ruminate know you appreciate seeing my story featured there. (There is some great artwork in the issue, and poetry as well.)

And, coming up in late-January or February, my story called, It’s Never Quite What it Seems, will appear in Saw Palm, Volume 8. (The link here is to their homepage, which currently still reflects the content of Volume 7, but hopefully soon that will change!) I thought this story was a perfect fit for Saw Palm, and I was very happy they agreed!

I wish you all a very prosperous new year in which you become a better version of yourself— just a little closer to the person you are meant to become. Happy writing!

Micro Review – What the Zhang Boys Know, by Clifford Garstang

Good fiction transports us into other worlds. Sometimes, this takes the form of the sweeping Civil War epic or the Deep Space Trilogy–big, complex novels filled with a large cast of main characters and more extras than could be supplied by a Hollywood casting company.

While Clifford Garstang’s new book, What the Zhang Boys Know, is less assuming in scope, it nevertheless settles us into an unknown world both captivating and complex in its own way.

Clifford Garstang’s new book is titled, What the Zhang Boys Know

The setting for The Zhang Boys isn’t necessarily “sweeping” or even unfamiliar: a suburban neighborhood teetering between middle-class and poverty, where the scale seems weighted toward poverty.

What makes these stories click isn’t Nanking Mansion–the renovated D.C. area condominium building that serves as the center-point of this familiar-yet-foreign world–but the residents into whose lives we are given little glimpses. In twelve interwoven stories, Garstang opens up for us a subtly complex world filled with love, loss, longing, and loneliness.

Reading this book left me with that same feeling I had as a young boy, the first time I placed a drop of pond water on a microscope slide: At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much there, but as you focus in, a whole world of wonders is revealed.

What the Zhang Boys Know is one drop of water from the Big Pond, and Garstang’s gift is his ability to focus in on the particulars and reveal the complex web of life teaming in that single drop. Each of these stories is fine standing alone, but the collected force of them is best experienced as a bigger whole; they work together to reveal universal experiences through a truly unique authorial lens. Each story is crafted with the same skill and artistry Garstang demonstrated in his lovely collection, In An Uncharted Country, but here, the stories work together to give us a bigger, more fully-realized world both heartbreaking and beautiful.

Learn more at Clifford Garstang’s website:

Links to the two books mentioned:

What the Zhang Boys Know

In an Uncharted Country

Sleepy Saturday Reads

I realize I’ve had several new followers/readers of this blog, lately. Not only do I appreciate you stopping by, reading, and liking my posts, I am thankful that every month more and more of you come along for the ride.

It’s a sleepy Saturday here. We have this thing in the Sunshine State, called the Rainy Season. It’s nothing compared to, you know, mid-west winters or anything, but when you’ve become semi-addicted to almost-constant sunshine, these gray, drizzly ones tip you into something like seasonal affective disorder.

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but I thought–with so many new folks looking in–I would share some of my short fiction with you. Maybe you need something to read while you nod off on the couch, or maybe the sun is shining over your beach this afternoon. Either way, here are a few of the stories I’ve written that are available to read online.

(Ordered, most recent to older…)

You can also find links to these stories on my website.

Thanks for reading!!

Literary Life, 3.0

I wonder if Steve Jobs ever felt this way.

(Yes, I’m starting this blog post by comparing myself to Steve Jobs.)

I wonder if, as he held the iPhone 4 in his hand and described the innovations and advancements, if he looked back at the original iPhone with a bit of a wince and grimace?

So far, the publishing side of the writing life has been a little like having the iPhone 4 sitting on my desk, and being asked to go out and hold up the first iPhone and say, “See this? I wrote this!”

Let me explain. In the last year or so, I’ve had four stories accepted for publication (all online, at this point). The four stories (Cop-Cop Cop, Solomon’s Ditch, Most Dead Birds Are Never Found, and Dudley’s Sacrifice) are all what I would consider to be Short Fiction 2.0. I have several other stories out for consideration that I would consider Short Fiction 3.0, and on my desk, ready for a new round of submissions in the new year, Short Fiction 4.0, with new features, better writing, more mastery of craft.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy that these earlier stories are finding literary homes. I don’t think they are “bad” stories, or I wouldn’t have sent them out for consideration. But, if I compare them with where I am today, they are lacking. It’s an odd thing to think about.

Ideally, as our writing life progresses, today’s work is better than yesterday’s, which was better than the day before. It is difficult for the perfectionist to accept this, but sometimes, we just have to let go, move on, and allow our earlier efforts to be mile markers on our road forward.

Sage Cohen, in her book, The Productive Writer, says there is a balance between perfectionism and sloppy indifference. It’s called professionalism: doing the best work we can do today, and knowing that our best work is yet to come. For me, that means celebrating the publication of some “earlier” stories that were important building blocks for improving my work. Cop-Cop Cop is a fun romp through a sci-fi landscape I rarely dwell in. Solomon’s Ditch is a bit mono-tone, like its main character. Most Dead Birds (forthcoming) is a self-contained slice of a much bigger picture. Dudley’s Sacrifice has a different tone than anything I’m currently writing. These are all fine stories, in their own way, even if they don’t represent my work as it stands today.

Tuesday blog: The Three Minute Writer #1 – vBlog

Well, here is the first of a new video blog (vBlog) feature here on the Stories I Read, Stories I Tell blog. In episode #1, I take a couple minutes to consider the proper role of the Internal Editor, as I see it.

Check it out…

Three Things to Take Away:

  1. The Internal Editor is an important aspect of who we are as writers, but that editor can sometimes take over and hinder our writing.
  2. Even though it’s hard, for some of us the best thing to do is to put that Editor away while we work on initial drafts.
  3. By putting the Editor away, we are free to let the story go, let the characters speak, let the words surprise us. And it’s okay, because there will be plenty of work for the Editor to do when we begin to revise and refine our work.
Hope you enjoyed this first attempt at a vBlog. Happy Writing!

This is NOT a Resolution…

A blog for writers…

That’s what my simple mind came up with…A blog for writers. More specifically, I thought I would review and feature short fiction from various literary mags (current fiction) and favorite authors (the old stuff). Short fiction is a form I’m intrigued by and one I attempt, frequently. It is a love. I thought it would be easy to write about a love…

But I’ve failed to actually keep up with a consistent blog about short fiction, not because I’m not spending time reading it, rather, I’ve failed to set aside specific time to write about what I’m reading.

That changes today.

When I went to Queens for my THIRD RESIDENCY, and fellow writers asked the standard question one writer asks another (“How is your writing going?”) I realized my answer (“Good!”) while true, required a qualifier. “Good,” I said, “But I don’t feel I’ve been sufficiently productive.”

So, I took an honest look at my use of time, and I found that while I have produced a fair amount of quality material the last six months, I’ve fallen short of the potential, mostly due to a lack of “time on task”. I have a lot I want to write about, and I’m changing my work patterns to make that happen.

(You have to actually WRITE to be able to say, “I have written…”)

Some of the fruits of this “new pattern” should be visible here, on the blog. Most of it will be directed toward ongoing and new projects: There are a number of BIG THINGS brewing, and I’m excited to be focusing on them. Look for some changes here on the blog. I’ll still review some short fiction, but I find myself also drawn to other topics of interest for writers, and I’m going to stop self-censoring and just write.

I hope you’ll find something of interest in the ramblings to come…